Lucknow, Jan 26 (IANS) Jaypee Punjab Warriors would be keen to continue their winning form when they take on Uttar Pradesh Wizards in an away game of the Hockey India League (HIL) Sunday here at the Dhyan Chand Astroturf Stadium.
Having had a difficult start to their campaign, Warriors played some aggressive hockey to beat Dabur Mumbai Magicians Thursday in a seven-goal thriller. With the likes of Malak Singh and S.V. Sunil showing good form, the Warriors would be reasonably confident going into Sunday's match.
However, their record against the Wizards is not good. Wizards beat Warriors 2-1 in the first meeting of the two sides while the latter managed to escape with a 2-2 draw in the second. Both the games were played in Jalandhar.
It would be a tough challenge for Warriors to get the better of Wizards here. Lucknow has seen near capacity crowds on most occasions and Warriors would have to overcome the challenge of performing well against a vociferous crowd.
Warriors' defence conceded four goals in two games against Wizards and that's one area the visitors would need to tighten up. Even against Magicians, the defence conceded three goals. The Magicians were also able to score off penalty corners and that is another area Warriors would have worked on in the three-day rest period.
Warriors would also know that one more loss would only make their task even more difficult. It's high time they start getting their act together on a consistent basis and Sunday could just be the right time.
Jamie Dwyer, captain of Jaypee Punjab Warriors, said, "It is going to be a tough game against Uttar Pradesh Wizards. We've done really well in the last three games and improved a lot as a team. The two wins against Mumbai have set the momentum for us and we want to keep that going, as this is now the crucial stage of the tournament."